Cheap Cars – Where to Find and How to Buy
To some people, a good cheap car is one that costs less than $10,000.
To others, an inexpensive used car may be one that costs $2000 or less.
We’ll tell you how and where to find the car you need, at the price you want, regardless of your price objective or budget.
Cheap car tips
Usually, but not always, buying a cheap car means finding an older used car– a second hand car – possibly with high mileage. Unfortunately, the older a car, the greater the possibility for serious problems and expenses that were not anticipated. Exceptions can be found of course and, with a little effort, good “oldies” can be found at bargain prices.
Most used cars are sold “as is” and come with no warranties or guarantees. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly inspect any car you intend to buy, and not take the word of the seller about the car’s condition. Also get a Carfax® or AutoCheck® vehicle history report. If problems are found after the sale, you will not be able to return the car and get your money back, even if the seller deceived you.
Continue reading Where to Find Cheap Used Cars?
How to Find Used Car Prices and Negotiate Best Deals
Buyers and sellers of used cars often wonder how prices and values are determined. How are values of used cars set? Who sets values? Are the values reliable?
If you are a buyer, is the seller’s asking price being fair? Are you paying too much? Can you talk the seller down on his price? What price should you offer without being unreasonable? What if the seller doesn’t accept your price?
If you are a seller, how much should you ask for your car? How do you determine used car values? What is a fair price to ask? Should you set a higher asking price to allow room for negotiation?
These are all common questions. Let’s try to answer them here.
Used car prices are not an exact science
We all know that a brand new car’s value begins to depreciate as soon as it’s driven off the dealer’s lot, often as much as 20% of MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price – sticker price).
Continue reading Used Car Prices – Pricing and Negotiating
Best Places to Find Used Cars Online
One of the best — and easiest — places to find cars for sale is online — on web sites that specialize in listing pre-owned vehicles.
Online used car web sites fall into three categories: 1) Non-dealer sites that sell cars listed by private sellers, 2) sites that only sell dealer cars, or 3) those that sell cars listed by both.
Actually, many of the so-called non-dealer sites actually have dealer cars, thinly disguised as private-seller cars.
Web sites with Cars from Private-Party Individual Sellers
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of classified-ad web sites that advertise used cars for sale by individuals. Here are reviews of some of the most popular sites:
Continue reading Best Used Car Web Sites – Recommendations
Will I be able to get approved for a car loan?
This question typically comes up if the potential car buyer 1) has never had an auto loan before and doesn’t know how the process works, or 2) has credit or income issues that might prevent them from being approved.
For those who are new to the car loan process, let’s briefly review how it works.
First, in order to get a car loan, you must be at least 18 years old (to legally sign contracts), have good credit, and have a good steady income.
Many young people, such as college students, who have never had a loan before may have no credit history and have little or no income. For them, if they can’t pay cash, getting someone to be a co-signer on the loan is the only remaining option.
Continue reading Can I get a car loan?
How much car can I afford to buy?
Based on my monthly income, can I afford the car I want?
This is a common question but doesn’t have a set answer.
The answer depends on the following factors, assuming you will use an auto loan to pay for your vehicle:
- price of the vehicle, including tax and other costs
- cost of full-coverage insurance, as required by your lender
- your monthly income, after taxes
- your monthly expenses
- your credit score (affects the amount you can borrow)
- the amount of down payment you can afford
Some experts say that your car payments shouldn’t be more than 20% of your take-home pay. Others are more conservative and say 10%.
Continue reading Can I afford this car? What car can I afford?
Can I trade my car if I have bad credit?
It’s like the answer to a lot of other questions, it depends.
It depends on how bad your credit is, what dealer you want to use, where you’ll look for financing, and the status of the existing loan on your trade vehicle.
Let’s take a look at how it might work.
I need a new car, and have a car to trade, but my credit is not good. How does it work?
In this case, it’s good that you have a vehicle to trade because it can be used as a down payment on a new vehicle loan — assuming you are not “upside down” and have some equity to use as trade credit.
Continue reading Trading Car With Bad Credit – Explained
Is it possible to get a car loan with no credit?
Yes, it’s possible and, depending on your particular circumstances, you may have several options available to you.
With no credit history, you may still have a credit score, although it isn’t likely to be very high, but enough to get you in the door with a car loan.
Since there are no hard-and-fast rules for how banks, credit unions, and auto finance companies handle no-credit situations, we’ll offer a number of suggestions, but the real secret to getting approved is to try, try, and try again at different dealers and lenders to maximize your chances.
Car Financing Explained
If you can’t pay cash when you buy your new or used car, you will need a loan, commonly known as “financing.”
Auto financing can come from a number of sources — banks, credit unions, online loan companies, finance companies associated with car manufacturers, or even from certain types of used-car dealers.
f you are buying a brand new car from a new-car dealer, he arranges your loan for you (if you haven’t already arranged one for yourself) with his “captive” finance company. A “captive” finance company is one that is owned by a car manufacturer and used by dealers who sell that manufacturer’s vehicles. Examples would be Ford Credit, Honda Financial Services, and Porsche Financial Services.
If you car buying a used car from a dealer, he may have a number of finance sources that he works with to arrange customer car loans. These may include local banks, large national banks, or national finance companies.
Continue reading How Does Car Financing Work?
How to buy a car from a private party, not from a dealer
When you buy a used from a private party individual instead of a dealer, things are a little different in the buying process. It’s a good idea to take extra caution especially with regards to exchanging money and title.
Since an individual seller can’t arrange financing for you if you need a loan, as a dealer can, you’ll be responsible for getting your own financing at a bank or credit union, or at an online finance source.
What’s different when you buy a car from an individual?
Advantages of private car purchase from an individual
• Possibly better purchase price than dealer retail price
• Individual sellers tend to be more flexible on price and negotiating
• Individual sellers tend to be more agreeable to buyer inspections and test drives
• No sales tax (in some states) on private car sales
Continue reading Buying Used Car from an Individual – Explained
How and where to get a used-car loan
There are a number of options available to used-car buyers in need of financing:
Dealer Loan – If you buy your car from a dealer, he will arrange your financing with a bank or loan company that he works with. Dealers don’t provide loans and financing themselves, it’s always done through a bank or finance company — except for “buy-here-pay-here” dealers that we’ll discuss below. See our article, How Does Car Financing Work.
Bank or Credit Union Loan – You can arrange your own auto financing with your own bank, credit union, or an online loan company. If you are buying your car from an individual (“private-party”), this is the way you will get a loan. It’s best to make application to your financing source before you buy so that you’ll know exactly how much money you are able to borrow.
Online Auto Loan – You can also finance your car purchase – from dealer or individual – with a loan from an online auto loan company such as Auto Credit Express.
Continue reading Car Loans and Financing Explained